Sunday, December 8, 2013


The cyclopes of Greek myth can be divided into two lineages – the first group were the three (or sometimes seven) Elder Cyclopes, who Hesiod listed as Brontes, Steropes, and Arges (who was replaced with Acmonides or Pyracmon by other authors). The names of the four alternates were Euryalos, Elatreus, Trachios, and Halimedes. These were immortal giants who were of the same generation as the Olympians, and worked with Hephaestus at his forge.

The other group of cyclopes were the Younger Cyclopes of Hypereia (identified with Sicily by the ancient Greeks). Among them was Polyphemos, who stood out from the rest of his tribe in size and strength, and was encountered by Odysseus and his shore party on a visit to the island of the cyclopes.

"Oh my God, He killed Kenny! You Bastard!"

Modern renditions of the cyclops are more influenced by films, and include Ray Harryhausen's iconic design for The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad (in literature, Sinbad's encounter with a man-eating giant actually occurs during his third voyage, and is a retelling of Odysseus' encounter with Polyphemos).

Given the oriental flavor of the Sinbad movies and the lack of horned and hoofed cyclopes in classical art, I originally thought that this particular type of cyclops could also represent the Turkish monster Tepegöz, as rendered in the following picture.

Then I realized what I thought was a horn on his head was actually a ladle that he was holding in his hand.

In any event, the following are the various cyclops miniatures that I have in my collection.

The first two miniatures represent the Harryhausen monster. The larger one is a resin X-Plus Cyclops that was part of the Ray Harryhausen Film Collection (Chess Set 1), while the smaller one is from Ral Partha (Children of the Night 13-020). The Ral Partha miniature is undersized, and would probably go better with 15mm figures.

There is also a two-horned version by X-Plus which represents the cyclops that fights the dragon at the end of The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad which I'm still trying to find at a reasonable price.

The next group of cyclopes bear some traces of the Harryhausen design, but also retain elements of classical cyclopes. The large cyclopes are from the D&D CMG, and include the Cyclops Crusher (Dangerous Delves #13), and the Skeletal Cyclops (Savage Encounters #33). These cyclopes have a bony armored head and scaly skin somewhat resembling the Harryhausen cyclops. The smaller cyclops is from the Age of Mythology game by Eagle Games, and it has the goat-like legs of the Harryhausen cyclops.

Next are some more classical cyclopes. The plastic figures to the left are the Pathfinder Cyclops (Skull & Shackles #34), and a cyclops from the Arcane Legions CMG. To the right are some metal figures – the Reaper Cyclops (Dark Heaven Legends 02953), and a Grenadier Cyclops from the Mythological Creatures box set (Action Art 8003).

More metal figures include the three Ral Partha Cyclops-Kin (AD&D Monsters 11-453), a Grenadier Psyclops (Monster Manuscript Vol.VIII 1508, MM68), and a Grenadier Klynops (Monster Manuscript Vol.V 1505, MM41).

I think of cyclopes as having beards and a full head of hair, but for some reason, many of these figures are bald, and any beards are rather short. I'd like to find a miniature of a cyclops with a big full beard, but will probably end up having to add them  using Kneadatite myself.

Last are the Grenadier Undead Giant Cyclops (Fantasy Lords 011), a Citadel Cyclops (Fiend Factory FF14), and a Heritage Masena (John Carter, Warlord of Mars 1523).

The Masena is described in ERB's Swords of Mars as a Cat-man from the Thurian Moon. I don't quite seen anything cat-like about it. It is described in the novel as having two mouths, one eye, and the ability to change colors to blend in with its surroundings. However, it does purr and meow which I guess counts for something.


1Mac said...

I just discover that Atlantic made a 1/72 cyclops for one of their "Ulysses" sets. It seems to be exactly the sort of bearded cyclops you're looking for. It's hard to find though. Here's a recently ended eBay auction: Way more than I'd want to pay!

EY said...

Thanks for the link. I think it has the best set of pictures of the cyclops that I have seen.

It's actually one of my chase pieces, but as you say - the price point has always been too high for a plastic figure.

therios said...

After looking for a cyclops like the ones in classical depictions -not a bald with a horn like the one from the Sinbad movie- for a while, I found this one. It's from Grenadier Fantasy Lords series and about 5cm from the base to the top of the head as far as I recall.

Here's a painted one listed on ebay:

EY said...

Hi therios,

Thanks for the heads up.